Archbishop Coleridge: ‘Copernican revolution’ needed to tackle abuse

Light of truth

The Catholic Church needs a true conversion that places survivors, and not the institution, as the focus of its concern as it enacts measures to combat the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable people, said Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane.

Like Nicolaus Copernicus’ discovery that the earth revolves around the sun, the church is need of a “Copernican revolution” where “those who have been abused do not revolve around the church but the church around them,” Archbishop Coleridge said in his homily on Feb. 24 during the closing Mass of the Vatican summit on child protection.

“In discovering this, we can begin to see with their eyes and to hear with their ears; and once we do that, the world and the church begin to look quite different,” he said. “This is the necessary conversion, the true revolution and the great grace which can open for the church a new season of mission.”

“Power is dangerous because it can destroy,” he said. “And in these days we have pondered how in the church, power can turn destructive when separated from service, when it is not a way of loving, when it becomes power ‘over.’”

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